Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Eleven whole years.

This girl of mine is simply amazing. 
She's so brave and bold. 
This past year she's learned a lot about what it means to be a friend. 
And she's growing up. 
I'm noticing it more and more in everything she does. 
Slowly but surely she's becoming the girl God made her to be. 
And even though she knows how to push my buttons more than anyone else, there is NO ONE I'm more proud of. 
I feel like I'm just sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see all that life holds for her and all the ways she will make a difference in this world. 

And even though if it were up to me, she'd be five indefinitely, 
I sure am enjoying the adventure that is Libby. 

Happiest of happy birthdays to the girl who made me a mom. 
I pray that your eleventh year is nothing short of amazing. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The beach life is the best life.

This past weekend was just what a needed. 
Four days at the beach with my girls, my mom, my sister-law, and my nieces. 
It was simply simple, and that happens to be my favorite way to spend a weekend. 

The girls boogie boarded until they all but fell out. 

The waves, sun, wind, and sand were practically narcotic. 

And Hollyn swam floatie free for the very first time. 

Also, I was able to cross #3 off of my 30 in my 30's list. 

I'd say this weekend was mighty fine indeed. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Five things on Friday.

Happy Friday, friends. 
Here are few things I've been thinking about this week: 

1. I got a Stitch Fix today. 
This one was extra special because it included elephants and was styled by sweet friend Andrea. 
Seeing as how my work wardrobe consists of t-shirts (one of my many job perks), it's fun to pick up a piece here and there that I LOVE. 

2. Libby is about to be eleven. I can't handle it. I'm not ready. Somebody hold me. 

3. Hollyn is seriously rocking this whole kindergarten thing. 
It's been the most natural transition for her, and the girl hasn't missed a beat, even with missing three days two weeks ago to have a second set of tubes put it and her adenoids removed. 

4. Our new house-- to put it mildly, WE ARE LOVING IT. 
You know when a house just fits your family? That's how I feel about this one. Throw in the fenced backyard and awesome neighbors (including FOUR other kindergarten kiddos-- how does that even happy?!?), and I'd say this is just about as good as it gets. 

5. I finally finished Gilmore Girls
*Insert a moment of silence.*
Loved it and will probably start rewatching it after Labor Day. 
Yes, I'm serious. 

Here's hoping you have big weekend plans. 
Lee and I are hitting the road to do a little post-birthday, no kids allowed celebrating. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

30 in my 30s: #8 GO CAMPING AS A FAMILY

Summer camp is my jam. 
I loved it as a kid and love it still. 

And although this 30 in my 30's goal didn't turn out quite the way I planned, what DID happen was way better than anything I could have imagined. 

We went to camp for three weeks this summer. 

Yes, I'm thirty-five years old, and this summer I: 

-stuffed my face with s'mores
-swam in the lake
-dominated at chubby bunny
-sang all the camp songs
-sat on a sit-upon
-anxiously awaited the daily mail call
-wrote lots of letters
-wore a uniform
-saddled lots of horses
-fell off only one horse
-ate my weight in popsicles
-realized that being a camp counselor is a lot harder at 35 than it was at 19

All of that was everything I'd hoped it would be. 
BUT, watching my kids do all of that (and more) was SO MUCH BETTER THAN I HAD EVER DREAMED OR IMAGINED IT WOULD BE!

Here are a few of our favorite camp moments: 

Watching my girls step out of their comfort zones and try all the new things, from foods to tennis to holding snakes, was truly one of my most awesome mom moments. 
They came home more confident than ever before, and I couldn't be more proud of them. 

And even though our expected eight week stay turned into a mere three week stay, 
those three weeks were crazy good and filled my adventure tank up to the tip top. 

Cheers to lake swimming, canoeing, s'more eating, and stall shoveling... well....maybe not stall shoveling. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

The letter in my Bible.

There's this letter in my Bible. Tucked away somewhere in the book of Proverbs, written in my sloppy handwriting, a combo of cursive and print. I remember the day I wrote it. So full of hope and longing for her, my daughter. I'd seen her face, but we hadn't met yet. I knew we would meet though. That feeling of belonging, of motherhood, of hardcore deep-rooted, unexplainable love, I've had that feeling since the first time I looked at her. Even from the very first time I saw her face in a random email on a random day in September, she has looked like MINE.

"My dearest Emily, 
You are desired, baby girl. 
I want to hold your little hands and kiss your little cheeks. 
I want to watch you sleep and lay with you when you're sick and hold you when you cry. 
I want to smile with you and laugh with you and watch you live a world full of firsts........"

I'd almost forgotten about the letter, the one I wrote to her at an adoption retreat when I was supposed to be listening to the speaker, but instead was day-dreaming about all the days to come with my daughter. I knew when I wrote it that no matter how honest I was and how hard I tried to express to her how much I adore her and love her and longed for her, there would never be enough words to express to her the depth of my feelings. Words like that simply don't exist. And then yesterday, it all but bit me like a snake in the grass when I was sitting in church and happen to come across it. I have the letter, but I will never have her.

"....I want to walk through hard places with you and remind you that you were never forgotten. 
You were never alone or forsaken. 
God was there, baby girl. 
He was holding you when I could not. 
He was comforting my heart while I waited for you......"

I miss her. Terribly. Awfully. Fully. I miss her every single day. My girls miss her. My husband misses her. She's everywhere, engrained in every aspect of our lives and our home and our hearts. She's there because she belongs there. After all, she's our girl.

"....Emily, you are so much more than what has happened to you and what you have endured. 
'Orphan' is not your identity. 
It's not who you are. It's not your defining characteristic. 
It's simply a part of God's plan; one chapter in your story. 
And right now, we are in a hard part. 
We are loving you, we are waiting for you, 
and our family won't be complete until you're home with us. ..."

And yet, she never coming home. It's so hard, the unknown. I find myself worrying about her. There's a measles outbreak in Congo right now. Did you know that? I did. And I find myself worrying about her. I want to protect her from all the things, including the measles. But I can't. I can't today. I can't tomorrow. I can't ever. And that's hard. There will be no updates, no news to come. Nothing. Just silence and the unknown. And that's hard too.

"...You are not forgotten. 
He is there with you in Congo. 
His hand is at the center of our journey to you. 
 And as heartbreaking as adoption is and can be, He has a plan, and His plans are always perfect, 
even when we don't understand them. "

She's my daughter, and yet she's not my daughter. That's such a hard thing for my mind and my heart to understand. I love her so deeply, and loving her feels so right. And yet, she's not coming home. I need to move on. I need to let go. I will never stop loving her. In fact, I'm pretty sure I couldn't stop loving her if I tried. But I can't stay here, in this place where there's still an open door. This place is too hard. It hurts too much to long for this child who will never be mine. I need to let it go and move past those dreams. I need to focus on the new things God is doing in our lives and the plans He still has for us. But it's really, really, really hard. How do I just turn my heart off like this? One days she's mine and the next she's not, and my heart just doesn't know what to make of that.

"....Waiting for you is hard. 
It's hard to know that there are people who know you more than I do. 
And as jealous as I can be,  more than jealous I am thankful. 
I'm thankful for your middle mamas, the people God is sending to take care of you until I can..."

I stand by what I said before ---- we prayed for this little girl to have a family, and she does.
THAT is worth celebrating! Just because God didn't answer that prayer in the way I wanted Him to doesn't mean that He's not good. I don't doubt for even one second that His way will ALWAYS, WITHOUT QUESTION be better than mine. And I don't struggle with why her family came back for her after almost two years. I can't blame them in any way for loving her and wanting her. That is actually the part of all of this that makes the most sense to me; it's so easy to love her, after all.

"...I've been dreaming of you and longing for you and desiring you since before you were born. 
You, my precious girl, are so so loved...."

There is one part though that I struggle with-- if she was never meant to come home to us, why did God allow us to have such an immediate, undeniable connection? I don't understand that yesterday or today and can say with confidence that when I'm old and grey I still won't understand that. However, while I may not know why I don't understand or why God allowed things to happen the way they did, I also know that I don't have to understand. Even though it's the most confusing thing I've ever had to deal with and even though it makes no sense to me whatsoever, God knows. And that's enough. It has to be. He knows His plans for our precious Emily, and that gives me more peace and comfort than anything on this Earth ever could.

I don't wish I hadn't had this time with her. I don't regret even one minute of the eighteen months I spent with her as my daughter. I don't wish I'd never gone to Congo. I don't wish that things were different...even now...even without her. How could I? I would never wish for someone to miss and long for the girl they love. I would never choose for someone to feel the way I feel now. Loving her WAS and IS a gift. And even though the gift wasn't what I expected and even though the gift didn't last anywhere near as long as I prayed it would, I will never ever stop being thankful for the gift that was our Emily.

"...I love you and won't stop counting the days until you are home--- no matter how long it takes and how hard it is and how hopeless things may seem at times. Being your mom is already such an honor, a gift, and a priviledge. We are so very blessed by you, our sweet Emily....."

Monday, August 17, 2015

This time it was intentional...kind of.

It occurred to me the other day that I never posted my word for the year. I had big plans for a post. I even had it almost entirely written in my head.
And then life happened.
Somehow, this post just never got written.
So, here it is, my word for the year of 2015:

2015 was going to be the year I was intentional; intentional with my time, energy, words, and actions. So, while this year has turned out nothing like I thought it would, at least I can say that my lack of blogging since February was just that-- intentional. 

This year has been hard. 
In fact, I can honestly say it's been the hardest year of my adult life. 
I'll be blogging about this more some in the days and weeks to come, but here's the gist: 

*I left Emily. I left her in Congo amidst the political drama and the chaos and the hard life that faces women there each and every day. And it was awful. Loving her-- one of the easiest, most natural things I've ever done. Leaving her, however, challenged me in every possible way. I'm a protector at heart. It's just what I do for my people. And Emily? She's more than my people; she's my daughter.

* A few weeks after returning home from Congo, we received some horrible news regarding our adoption. I can't go into many details, but we found out about some serious injustices that had occurred in regards to our adoption and the adoption of several other children. We lost a lot of money and had to change agencies. I was heartbroken. Devastated. Literally sick about the things I learned. Emily was fine, and there was no reason to believe she wouldn't come home, but this grave injustice--I talk about justice a lot with Noonday. I work to help artisans and their families around the world gain freedom from the injustices they've oftentimes encountered. And now, injustice was in my home, in my life, and surrounding my precious daughter. And it hurt me more than words can describe.

*That was on a Wednesday in February when we learned about what was going on with our old agency. Then on that Friday, just two days later, I got a phone call. My grandmother was dying. I needed to come and say good-bye. And I did. To say that she was my very best friend simply isn't enough. I can't even write this one little paragraph about her without balling. I said good-bye that night and kissed her forehead and thanked her for loving me so fiercely. And early the next morning, she went to be with Jesus. I don't even know what to say about her death other than to say that as long as I'm breathing I will still be missing her.

*March and April came and went like a blur. The one really positive thing I can say about these two months is Jesus. Jesus was using this time to open a new door that would lead to my dream job and an awesome move. More to come on this soon, I promise.

*Then came May. We had changed adoption agencies. We had just sent another package to Emily. We were about to 'celebrate' eighteen months of staring at her beautiful face. And then I got another phone call. Emily had been reunited with her birth family. This is such a beautiful thing. I said it that day, and I still say it now. We prayed for almost two years for this beautiful girl to have a family, for there to be one less orphan in this world. And there is. And that is worth celebrating. However, that's only half of my heart. The other half....well....the other half is broken. Completely and totally and utterly broken. My daughter will never come home. She will never sleep in her bed. She will never leave cookies out for Santa with her sisters. I won't kiss her the day she starts school or goes on her first date or leaves for college. There will be no bedtime stories and snuggling on the coach and listening to her laugh. The dreams I had for her will never become reality. She will always be my daughter, and yet, she will never be my daughter. I can't even understand how I feel myself, much less attempt to fully explain how I feel to anyone else. But it's hard. And it hurts. And it's lonely. And it's been really, really, really confusing. I still don't understand what God was doing there. Why did He allow us to have such an amazing bond? Why was it so easy to see where she'd fit into our family? I'll probably never know the answers to these questions. And I don't have to. There are a lot of things I don't know, but God has made it really clear to me that whatever He is doing and has done and will do with our family and Emily wasn't about us. It was about her. I will never know how she's doing or where she is or what's going on in her life. But I do know that for a brief while this beautiful, bold, brave, crazy smart little girl was ours. And that is a gift I will never stop being thankful for.

*About two weeks after we lost our Emily, the girls and I left for camp. That's right-- I said camp. The plan was to spend seven weeks at camp where I worked in college. Libby would be a camper, I would be on staff, and Hollyn would be really cute in her camp uniform. It would be how we spent the summer without Emily....until there was no more Emily to wait for. Then it became our way to move on and start fresh. Oh, and did I mention we were moving? While we were at camp? Our life is lots of things, but it is very rarely boring. So, we packed up (for camp and to move. Just call me an over-achiever.), kissed Lee good-bye,  and left for seven weeks at camp. At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, after just three weeks, Libby developed a highly-contagious skin infection, so home we came....except we were currently in betweens. So we spent a few days quarantined in a hotel room before heading home to our NEW home....four weeks early.

Which bring me to now. Things are getting settled. We are finding our new normal. I'm working my way out of the drama and the cloud I've been living in for the past few months. And I'm finding my place in my dream job. There are things to be said. I just haven't been ready to say them until now. And some of them I'm still not quite ready to say. This blogging break was intentional, even though the chaos was not.  But here we go. Get ready blog world....because I'm back. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Life Lately

Things have been kind of crazy lately-- 
no normal routine for us. 

I'll give you the short and simple version: 

-Have you ever had a double ear infection for over a month? I have. 
Here's to hope the third round of antibiotics is where it's at. 

-Adoption paperwork schmaperwork. It's basically all a blur at this point. 

-Hollyn went on a day trip with my mom last week to see Jake and the Neverland Pirates
 (and all of his friends apparently) on stage. 
Note: If she tells you she likes cotton candy, she's lying. 

- The new Noonday Collection line launches tomorrow, and I'm all kinds of excited about it. 

-Nothing says HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY like a giant box of peppermint coffee flavored K-cups, am I right or am I right?

-Road trip planning is my favorite, and the girls and I are gearing up to head South in just a few weeks. 

-Speaking of road trip, we have something big in the works. More to come on this soon, but let's just say the girls and I will be anything but bored this Summer. 

Here's to hoping your Monday is all kinds of fabulous and filled with hot chocolate, a movie that makes you laugh out loud, and snuggling with the ones you love. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Feed their tummies.

I have been so amazed throughout our adoption process at the ways God has worked to connect me to others with a little one in Congo. But, I can honestly say that no one has blessed me more than my friend and mentor Jenny. Jenny's daughter came home this past summer, but Jenny's heart is still yearning to do more for the children in the DRC.
And I'm so glad it is. 

Jenny and her husband are the founders of Feed Their Tummies, a program that works to provide food for orphaned children in the Congo. 

And a little over a month ago, Jenny brought tears to my eyes when she suggested providing food for Emily's orphanage while I was in country. 
I cried happy tears that day,
but I cried so many more on the day we were able to deliver the food to those most precious babies. 

I have to be honest and say that food is something I often take for granted.
I've never gone to bed hungry or known that heartache. 
But, I see food differently now. 

Food is life-giving in so many ways. 
A warm meal is good for the body and soul. 

Food brings comfort. 
Food heals wounds. 
Food helps us grow. 
Food refreshes us. 
Food gives us energy. 
Food creates hope. 

And these babies can't grow without it.
Having access to good nutrition-giving foods can literally change their lives.....
and save them. 

Want to get involved with Feed Their Tummies? 
Please do. 

Visit their website, learn more, donate, and change the life of a child in the DRC. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Thank you.

I've been home a little over a week, 
and yet I still don't feel ready to share all that in my head and on my heart. 
Some things I want to keep within our family, 
and other things-- well, I'm still searching for the words. 

But, one thing I'm completely ready to say is thank you.
I asked on Facebook for people to donate formula, cloth diapers, and other supplies to the orphanage. 
The response was overwhelmingly wonderful. 
Nothing blesses me more than to see people blessing others. 

I was so thankful to get to help deliver the donations to the orphanage. 
I felt like we were delivering pounds and pounds of hope and life and love to these precious babies. 

I can say without a doubt that these donations are LITERALLY changing the lives
of these children. 

Lord willing, these orphans will all have families one day soon. 
But for today, we, the body of Christ, are their family. 

And being able to see the smiles on their faces and sleep tonight knowing that 
they will have diapers and medical supplies and formula today
 is a moment I will 
never forget. 

Thank you to all who gave. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Twenty months, some thoughts, and getting back to the beginning.

We are now officially twenty months into this adoption process, 
although it feels like so much longer 
since we spent close to two years reading and researching and praying before we officially started. 

As I look back on this time spent waiting, it's easy to see the peeks and valleys. 
There have definitely been some valleys on this journey.
 Last Fall (Fall of 2014) can basically be summed up by saying 'adoption is hard'.
 My heart was so broken for my girl, her mother, and the miles that separated us. 
I selfishly wanted her home, but more than that, I wanted this little girl to have a family. 

And now, twenty months later, we're still waiting, but I have a newly restored hope. 
God has used this process to teach me and mold me and move in my heart more than I ever imagined, and no part of me doubts that HE WILL BRING EMILY HOME TO US. 

We still have absolutely no idea when that may happen and still have some very important steps in the process that we are yet to complete, but I may or may not have just washed everything from my trip and repacked it in my suitcase. 
I am literally packed and ready to go get my girl.
 A little premature? Probably. 
Preparing for rain? Definitely. 

I don't want to wait even one minute longer than I have to to bring her home.

And once again, for I pray is the last time, I need your help. 
We are estimating that we still need about $10,000 to bring her home. 
I say estimating because the longer it takes, the more it will cost. 
Home studies, fingerprints, and government forms expire and are renewed with a fee. 
We also are paying monthly foster care fees for our sweet girl. 
And then we'll have to travel. 

So, we are going back to the beginning. 
Our first (and most successful) fundraiser was selling t-shirts. 
You may remember them. 
You may have one. 
But, I'm crossing my fingers that you may need another. 

So, I give you these little beauties: 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters. 
This promise is so dear to my heart. 
I cling to it. 
And I find so much hope in it. 
These shirts were designed by sweet, talented, beautiful friend Monique. 
You can find more of her work here.

You may be familiar with this song, but in case you're not, my precious, crazy-talented, oh so silly, former student turned grown-up friend, Meredith,  recorded her own version for me to share with you: 

Ten thousand dollars is a lot of money. 
But God is not intimidated by those zeroes. 
And we shouldn't be either. 
My happy thought these days consists of a group of smiling faces waiting for us at the airport, wearing these shirts, welcoming Emily home. 
That will no doubt be my happiest of happy days. 

Next Thursday, February 5th, my little girl will turn three.
And although I'm sure to spend that day crying and stuffing my face with all the M&M's,
we will still be celebrating our girl and another year of her life.
And I'm hoping you'd like to join me in celebrating.
So, in honor of Emily, I'd like to sell THREE HUNDRED SHIRTS by her birthday. 
That's 300 shirts in seven days.
That's over forty shirts a day.
And about two shirts per hour.
It's a big goal, I know.
But God has taught me to not fear big goals.
It won't be all that we need to meet our long term goal,
but it will certainly be a big step closer.

So, who's ready to help bring our girl home?
You can purchase your shirts HERE

Have questions about sizing or colors or anything else? 
Ask them in the comments and check back soon for a response.
And please feel free to share, share, share about them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your blog, or anywhere else.  

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for helping to bring our girl home to us. 
Nothing makes me feel more loved than when people love my children and follow God's call to take care of our neighbors, even when our neighbors live half way around the world. 
Adoption takes a village, 
and I am so glad you are a part of mine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

That's my daughter.

God is so good. 
That's really all I know to say. 
He has knit our family together so perfectly, and this girl is the icing on our cake. 
To sum up my time with her-- 
God used each and every minute to confirm over and over and over again that she was made for us. 
It's painstakingly obvious that she belongs with us. 
Every little detail-- they just fit. 

 Our bond was instant, as if it had always been there. 
I guess you could say that's because it has. 
God knew long before I did that she was ours. 
And I will never, ever stop thanking him for the gift that is our Emily. 

I am so in love with this little girl. 
And while my head is still spinning, jet lag is still kicking (hello, 4am wake-ups), and my heart is still racing, one thing is for certain: 
I CANNOT WAIT for her to come home. 

Every day I spend longing for her is one more day that she doesn't have a family. 
And even one more day with no family is too many. 

Will you please join me in praying that she comes home soon? 
Pray that God will move mountains and bring her home sooner rather than later. 

As of tomorrow, we officially began our adoption process twenty months ago. 
But my heart has been longing for her for so much longer than that. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tomorrow, you're only a day away.

After waiting and stressing about paperwork arriving in time, 
I am officially headed to Congo tomorrow to meet my daughter. 
It seems like a dream. 
I've waited so long to see her and hold her and love her in person. 
I keep seeing us meet in my mind over and over again like a movie. 
Will she like me? 
Will she be scared? 
Will she let me hold her? 
We shall see. 

I can't imagine what she's been through in her short little life. 
So much heartache and loss and hurt, I'm sure. 
My biggest prayer request for this trip? 
I don't want to bring her even one minute of hurt, heartache, loss, or fear. 
I want our time together to somehow take the place of all the days she's lived without a mother, without a family, without security, without the comfort of a family. 
I know that it can't. 
There's no way a week together can make up for all the time she's spent without all of that. 
But God is good, and thankfully He is in control......always. 

Here are some thoughts/ questions people have asked/ things you might be wondering:

*I'm almost all packed and ready. All I can say is, I feel like I deserve some sort of prize for all the things I've managed to fit into my bags. I'm bringing close to 100 pounds of donations for Emily's orphanage--- formula, cloth diapers, medicines, etc. I've also somehow managed to pack all of what I'll need and all of what Emily will need in my carry-on. I'm also bringing all of our food (minus water). I see lots of ramen noodles, beef jerky, rice, and peanut butter crackers in my future. Please pray that all of my bags (two checked bags, one carry-on suitcase, and one personal item) make it safely to Congo. I don't want to be distracted by anything during my time with my daughter. 

*Will I have Wifi? Not sure. Maybe. We shall see. I'm praying that I do so I can send pictures and videos home to Lee and the girls and so they can send videos to us. HOWEVER, whether I have Wifi or not, I will NOT be posting pictures of Emily's face. While I'm dying to show you just how adorable she is, I'm not legally allowed to do that until she's home. But don't worry-- I'll do what I can and promise to post pics as often as I can. 

*Am I nervous? Probably not in the way you might think. Africa, traveling to Africa, and being in Africa-- these are a few of my favorite things. I feel so comfortable there, and there is literally nowhere else I'd rather be. And traveling? Yes, please. I love flying. I love airports. Even though this is my first time traveling solo, I'm not nervous.  I'll be fine and have no worries about that. I'd say my nerves all come from worrying about her--- I just really want this time together to be a time of peace and comfort and joy for her. I want to be able to meet her needs and for her to begin to view me as her mom. I want her to trust me and for communication to just naturally happen. 

*How old is she? Does she speak English? She's about 2.5-3.5 years old. However, I've been told she's tiny, so we shall see. Hopefully I'll have a better idea about this once we've spent some time together. And English? That would be a no. The national language in Congo is French, but she speaks a tribal language called Lingala. I do have a cheat sheet ready with some key words and phrases, but we shall see how well that goes. Lingala is hard, y'all. 

*How am I gonna leave her? I don't know. All I know to say about this is Jesus. Just Jesus. I have never been more sure about anything in my life than I am that Emily is my daughter. God's got this. He is in control. Does that mean leaving won't be hard? Oh my gosh, of course it will be awful. How am I supposed to say good-bye to my toddler daughter I've just met and leave with no return date in sight? I have no idea. But Jesus is good. And He will take care of me. 

*When is she coming home? I also have no idea about this. We are still waiting to pass court (this is month ten). Once we pass court, she will legally be our daughter, and we'll start making steps towards her coming home. However, Congo still is not issuing exit letters (the final piece you need to travel with your child). Again, God is in control. Does it stink that she can't come home today? Absolutely. Every child deserves a family, and no child should have to continue living without a family when she has one waiting for her. However, let me say it again-- GOD IS GOOD. We saw her face for the first time the day before they announced they were putting exit letters on hold. I fully believe that that was God's timing. He will provide. He will take care of her. We're living in His timing, not our timing. 

That's all for now. 
Finishing up the last few things I need to take care of before I say good-bye to my family and head to a dear friend's house later today. 
She will drop me off at the airport in the morning, and I'll be off from there. 
Prayers are greatly appreciated. 
I'll be meeting my daughter on Friday.